What’s Better Heat Press Or Screen Printing

When it comes to printing, both heat pressing and screen printing take the cake of being the best choices. The results these two techniques offer are remarkably stunning, which often makes one wonder which is the top and the better choice, heat press or screen printing.

No doubt, there are a ton of similarities between the results of these two methods, but when it comes to procedures, they are very different from one another. Not to mention, their advantages and restrictions make them ideal for different types of projects. Hence, there is no other way around it but to know the said differences to become aware of which method of printing is the better.

I had to learn the answer to this question after making multiple rookie mistakes. This is why I have jotted down everything I have learned from personal experience so that you can attain knowledge without making any mistakes. In the article below, you will find out all the information in layman’s terms.

What’s Better Heat Press Or Screen Printing

The factors listed below will give you the answer of which technique is better, heat press or screen printing.

Heat Press

Heat pressing is one of the best methods of printing and transferring designs onto different substrates. The method involves the use of sublimated images or a vinyl sticker which is then transferred onto a surface with the help of a heat press. The high heat from the platens of the machine forces the design to shift from the paper or carrier sheet to the garment. However, as amazing as this method is, it comes with multiple limitations along with the perks.

Benefits And Limitations

To know which of the two printing techniques is better, you need to know about the perks and limitations of both of them. When we talk about heat pressing, the major benefit is that it is a cost-efficient technique. It only requires a one-time investment, and then you can use the same machine to transfer as many designs on as many garments as you want. Another benefit of the heat press is that it is a simple and quick method of transferring images and design. You only need to place the garment and the design in the machine and shut it. After a few seconds, the design will be applied to the garment. Therefore, there is no struggle and heavy time consumption when it comes to heat presses.

On the other hand, it also has multiple drawbacks. For instance, as the image is layered on the top of the garment, there is a high chance that the ink will crack over time. Along with cracking, the color of the design can also fade with washes. Therefore, heat press prints are not very long-lasting. Lastly, once the image has been printed, there is no room for customization. You can not change the color of the design even a little bit. For adding multiple colors, you will need to print the design in the required hues.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is one of the oldest methods of printing and transferring images. The procedure involves a larger screen that has mesh material added to the frame. The design gets added to the mesh material. Transferring images via screen printing involves the use of ink and a squeegee. The ink is poured over the screen and then dragged from one corner of the frame to the other. It penetrates through the mesh into the garment underneath and hence, the design is transferred.

Benefits And Limitations

Similar to heat press, screen printing has its own benefits and limitations. The major advantage of this material is that the design does not crack and the color does not fade. As the ink is not transferred to merely the top surface and is penetrated into the fibres, it has longevity. Moreover, screen printing also allows you to tinker with the colors. You can pour one hue on one side of the screen and another color on the other side. Furthermore, this technique is ideal for bulk orders.

Moving towards the limitations of screen printing, it is an expensive method of printing. You can not use the same screen for different designs. Every design and image requires its own screen. Furthermore, screen printing is a manual method of printing, you can not sit back and watch your desired image transfer. You need to transfer it yourself with the help of ink and a squeegee. Lastly, screen printing takes a lot of time as making a screen and then printing via the said screen can not be done in a few seconds.

Which One Is Better?

Now that you know the benefits and restrictions of both methods, it is easier to know which technique is better. If you want to print a single image and are interested in taking smaller orders only, then heat pressing is the ideal method. You will only need to print the image and then transfer it with your heat-press, making a screen for small orders is not ideal as it is a costly method. Moreover, heat pressing does not require a heavier investment, therefore, for every smaller-scale or home-based project, the method of heat pressing is the best.

On the contrary, if you have built a larger-scale business and are looking for results with higher color accuracy and a long-lasting design, then screen printing is the best choice for you. The transferred image will not crack, or show any color fading, which will help in building a better image of the business. Moreover, if you will be repeatedly making the same order, then you also should opt for screen printing instead of using a heat press.


While the two methods of printing, heat press and screen printing, offer amazing results, using any one of the techniques for your project is not wise. They are both ideal for different types of projects; therefore, you need to know which one is better suited for your work. Lucky for you, the article above will give you a clear-cut answer to this question.